London CNN  — 

March 29 was supposed to be the day that the UK left the European Union. Instead, lawmakers in the House of Commons decided to vote down Theresa May’s deal for the third and probably final time.

In what is currently being seen as her last attempt to get the deal over the line and allow everyone to get on with their lives, the Commons handed May yet another humiliation. Though support for the agreement has grown, a defeat by a margin of 58 is a crushing blow to the Prime Minister.

Brexit is a mess. The only thing that’s clear right now is that no one is in charge and, worse, no one is in a position to be in charge.

The House of Commons can’t agree on anything, as was made painfully clear on Wednesday when it voted on alternative Brexit options. All eight proposals were voted down after a long evening that resulted in nothing other than a public, national embarrassment.

Friday’s vote might have been the most absurd spectacle in the history of British politics. The government brought forward a crucial vote that it knew it was going to lose. People in May’s own party who previously described the deal as appalling and akin to slavery voted for it. People in the opposition Labour Party, whose own Brexit plan is very close to the Prime Minister’s, voted against it.

People who claim to rank the unity of the United Kingdom as their primary concern have acted in a way that has sowed the seeds for further division. No one knows what is going to happen and no one seems to have a way out of this shambles.

The cause of this deadlock lies firmly at the feet of Members of Parliament. For three years they have talked exclusively to themselves. They have, respectively, ignored the political reality of what was acceptable to the EU, what was acceptable to their colleagues in parliament and what was acceptable to the public.

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UK parties 'at risk of not surviving' Brexit
15:34 - Source: CNN

Over the past week, May, with the help of the EU, threw the kitchen sink at getting this thing done and dusted. She even went as far as offering her head in exchange for her deal passing, and stepping aside to let someone else take over the future of Brexit.

At the EU Council Summit last week in Brussels, the other EU 27 leaders offered May a lifeline. They accepted her request to extend Article 50, and surprised everyone by giving her two quite generous options to avoid no deal. Despite the attempts of some in the UK to outsource their responsibility to Brussels, the EU made clear it will not be seen as responsible for causing a chaotic crash-out.

Those two options were to get the deal approved by March 29 and leave the EU on May 22 – or make a decision by April 12 on whether the UK wants a further extension or leave without a deal.

Unless the EU decides to give May another chance to get the deal approved, April 12 is the only date that matters now.

That is the date by which the UK will need to declare if it intends to participate in the EU parliamentary elections. If it doesn’t, then it’s no deal. If it does, that’s a whole new can of worms being ripped open.

The UK would have to send MEPs to Brussels as a member state. How long it would have to remain a member state is a matter yet to be decided, but it’s fair to say that the political situation in this country would require it to be months, if not years. And being a member state for that length of time, with no credible plan to leave and calls growing for Article 50 to be revoked, a second referendum would become a real possibility. And probably a general election.

The United Kingdom is anything but united. Brexit has sucked the oxygen out of politics and sidelined huge problems facing the UK. Schools, policing, prison, housing. None of this is getting sorted because politicians have instead spent three years grandstanding.

The public deserves better than this. More political uncertainty is the last thing this country needs.